A family trip to the zoo turned into a nightmare after one event went wrong in the worst way

Jun 13, 2024

A trip to the zoo is supposed to be a magical experience for parents and their children. 

But all hell was breaking loose when the unexpected happened. 

And a family trip to the zoo turned into a nightmare after one event went wrong in the worst way. 

Video taken of hungry giraffe snatching a toddler 

Jason Toten and his family thought they were in for a fun-filled weekend when they decided to pay a visit to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

Visitors can drive through the park to see the center’s wildlife, which includes rhinos, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, and other exotic animals.

Two-year-old Paisley Toten and her mom, Sierra Robert, were feeding a giraffe from the bed of their truck, which is part of the drive-thru safari experience.

But onlookers were horrified by what happened next.

The hungry giraffe picked Paisley up by her shirt. 

Robert shouted “Hey!” at the giraffe and the toddler was dropped back into her arms by the massive beast.

Fortunately, Paisley wasn’t hurt during her brief ride in the giraffe’s mouth.

“By the time I, like, looked back over, she was gone,” Robert told ABC’s Good Morning America. “It was just really shock, you know, adrenaline sets in.”

“My heart just stopped,” Jason Toten recalled. 

Giraffes are herbivores that use their long necks to graze on trees and plant material.

Fossil Rim said that something like this had never happened before and they were “taking immediate action to make sure it won’t happen again.”

Girl’s family comes under fire for the giraffe incident 

Critics blamed Paisley Toten’s parents for her brush with danger with a giraffe during the drive-thru safari.

“Toss the pellets on the ground and away from your vehicle. Only giraffes can be fed by hand. This is for your safety, as animals besides giraffe can bite,” Fossil Rim’s website states.

“Let me make something very clear. Anything can happen anytime and anywhere,” Robert wrote. “Had we gone to the park that day instead (aka outside) she could have been bitten by a snake. Snakes are everywhere this time of year and yet no one would have called me a bad mom for taking my child to the park to play where there would potentially be snakes.”

Toten and Robert said that they weren’t upset at the park or the giraffe over the incident.

“It was an accident and the giraffe didn’t mean to — it was just one of (those) things that happened,” Toten said. 

He said that he bought Paisley a toy giraffe after the incident at the gift shop.

“We’re gonna revisit. We’re not mad at the giraffe. We’re not mad at the park,” Toten added. “We’re still gonna encourage everybody else to go visit. It’s a great place to go, especially for toddlers or kids really that love animals.”

Fossil Rim announced that they were prohibiting visitors from riding in the bed of a truck after the incident. 

Wildlife expert Corbin Maxey said that the giraffe had gotten comfortable with human interactions. 

“This is a giraffe that’s used to eating from visitors. And what happened is a toddler was holding that bag of food really, really close and the giraffe leaned in, something it normally does. And by getting the bag of food, it accidentally grabbed the toddler’s shirt,” Maxey said.

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